Many craft shops sell specially produced dyes for eggs that give good, rich colours. You can also use food dyes - add 20 drops food colouring to 1 cup hot water and 1 tsp vinegar, and hard-boil the eggs in the liquid.
The best natural dyes
Natural dyes give wonderfully subtle shades: use just over a litre water to 2 tbsp vinegar to chosen dying ingredient (see below). Boil for 30 mins. Strain. Hard-boil the egg in the resulting dye.
Red cabbage (red) - 4 cups
Turmeric (yellow) - 3 tbsp
Onion skins (light creamy brown) - use 12 onions
Beetroot (purple) - 4 cups
Coffee (dark brown) - a litre of strong black
Some dye-ing ideas
Batik eggs: hard-boil eggs and while they are still warm wrap thick elastic bands around each one. Place 3 cups water, 3 tbsp vinegar and 10 drops food dye in a bowl. Place egg in dye and leave for about 10 mins. Remove, take off rubber bands and reposition. Re-dip in another colour, and repeat again in another dye to get a complex three-colour pattern.
Candlewax eggs: draw shapes on the egg with a candle. Dip in dye as above - the dye won't 'take' on top of the wax, leaving distinctive shapes and patterns.
Marbled eggs: place 3 cups water, 3 tbsp vinegar, 10 drops food colouring into a shallow dish. Add 1 tbsp oil and swirl this around with a fork. Roll egg around in the mixture to pick up coloured swirls.
Splodge eggs: Dip small pieces of different coloured crepe paper in a bowl of water with a dash of vinegar. Cover the egg with the damp pieces of paper and leave for about 15 mins. Peel off the paper to reveal the brightly coloured shell.